Ahlstrom Enters Specialty Papers Joint Venture in China

Sept. 10, 2007 - Ahlstrom said that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Zhejiang Kan Specialty Material Co. (KAN Paper) to acquire a majority stake (70%) in a specialty papers company in China.

According to Ahlstrom, the assets in this joint venture include a paper machine, water treatment, power plant and 15 hectares of land in Kaifeng, China, as well as the crepe paper business of KAN Paper.

The JV will become part of Ahlstrom's Technical Papers business area and serve the local crepe paper markets, the company said.

"The joint venture will also produce a wide range of other technical paper grades. Currently, the paper production is delivered to the local markets in China, but we aim to expand the customer base by utilizing our global specialty materials sales network", says Patrick Jeambar, Senior Vice President, Technical Papers of Ahlstrom.

The market for crepe papers is estimated to grow approximately 15% annually in China, Ahlstrom added.

Ahlstrom expects to sign a binding agreement on the JV during the third quarter of 2007 and close the deal by end of 2007.

Ahlstrom said it will have an option to purchase the remaining stake in the joint venture after two years time.

Annual production capacity of the Kaifeng mill is 12,000 tons. The plant is located 200 kilometers southwest of Hangzhou and it employs 130 people.

Ahlstrom currently has one manufacturing site in China producing dust filtration materials as well as three sales offices.

SOURCE: Ahlstrom Corp.

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